Information Bulletin, December 2000


Submission Issues
SPARCS Collection Issues
Communication News
Holiday Greeting

Submission Issues

Another awesome year! Once again a giant thank you is in order to all-reporting facilities for their cooperation in making 2000 an extremely successful data collection year for SPARCS. The year started with the millennium celebration and ends with HIPAA on the horizon. When we started the year we were just beginning to implement the Internet Upload process to submit SPARCS required data electronically through the secured server on the Health Provider Network (HPN). Now more than 60% of all facilities are using that process. We look forward to having the remaining facilities sending us their data via the HPN in the coming year.

We are currently in the final stages of testing our Version 6 implementation. Once those programs have been migrated to our production environment we will be able to accept any submission for any year in the Version 6 format. It should be noted that we are continuing support for Version 5 indefinitely. The Version 6 migration date is sometime before January 1, 2001.

We are currently in the final stages of testing our Version 6 We are currently in the process of modifying our documentation to include mapping to the 837. The map of the current SPARCS requirements to the 837 and an appendix to organize those requirements in the 837 format will be posted on our Web site in the middle part of January. There will be additional documentation published in the spring to supplement the 837 Institutional Implementation guide for SPARCS specific requirements. We are planning to start testing the 837 in the first quarter of 2002, well before the October 2002 deadline. Once we start accepting the 837, we will continue support for both Versions 5 and 6 for some undetermined amount of time.

SPARCS Collection Issues

We are currently in the final stages of testing our Version 6 In collaboration with the New York Health Information Management Association (NYHIMA) the following additions are being made to the list of Age-Specific ICD-9-CM Diagnosis Code Exceptions in Appendix N of the SPARCS Documentation.

434.90 Unspecified cerebral artery occlusion without mention of cerebral infraction
574.81 Calculus of gallbladder and bile duct with acute and chronic cholecysititis with obstruction
602.8  Other specified disorders of the prostate
777.1  Meconium obstruction in fetus or newborn

Based on feedback from several hospitals the multiple relationship edit on ambulatory surgery submissions comparing the Operating Room Time with the difference of the admit and discharge hours will be eliminated. This will take effect for all discharges after January 1, 2001.

We have received questions regarding the appropriate coding for the Source of Admission data element. Should patients from Skilled Nursing Homes routinely sent to the emergency room and then admitted to the hospital code this variable as a Transfer from a SNF (Code 5) or as an Emergency Room (Code 7) admission? What implications does either of these coding choices have on hospital mortality studies? By answering these questions, we hope to make a recommendation to the National Uniform Billing Committee (NUBC) to provide further clarification on the definition published in the UB-92 Specifications document.

Communication News

The UDS-L listserv was created to facilitate discussion for such issues like the Source of Admission data element. This listserv has been dormant for several years, but it has been revitalized to promote industry discussion concerning data quality and HIPAA implementation issues. For information about subscribing to the UDS-L listerv, please visit the URL on our public Web site: www.health.state.ny.us/statistics/sparcs/operations/list.htm

Phase one to convert the SPARCS public web pages to be handicap accessible has been completed. The second phase is the conversion of our documentation to conform to handicap accessible guidelines. Currently, the SPARCS documentation is available in Adobe PDF format or as WordPerfect source documents in 5.1/5.2 format. Information regarding the completion of phase 2 will be forthcoming in a future bulletin. Our Public Web site continues to grow. Your comments do matter and do make a difference. Please do not hesitate to tell us what you think and what improvements can be made to our Web site to better serve your current and future needs.

Holiday Greeting

The entire SPARCS staff would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season. We look forward to cooperating with all our providers and data users as we prepare for the challenges to implement HIPAA together.